No, this article is not about a current president.
And no, you do not need to be a psychopath to be a great leader.
What Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic points out in the brilliant article "Why Bad Guys Win at Work" below is that some "dark triad traits" may help people to emerge as leaders. For instance because "Narcissists are often charming, and charisma is often the socially desirable side of narcissism: Silvio Berlusconi, Jim Jones, and Steve Jobs personified this."
However, emerging as a leader is very different from being an effective leader: "...studies have shown significant associations between the dark triad and counterproductive work behaviors (theft, absenteeism, turnover, sabotage, etc.)." and "Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy were all positively linked with counterproductive work behaviors and poor organizational citizenship, and Machiavellianism and psychopathy were also negatively linked to actual job performance (as opposed to career success)."
So by all means, whilst dark side behaviors may propel some careers, they are generally counterproductive for organizational success.
How do you know what dark side traits you and other leaders in your organization have (no worries, we all have some without being a psychopath)? The Hogan Development Survey is a proven professional personality assessment that can help recognize and, more importantly, mitigate performance risks before they become a problem. Contact me to explore more: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Not all psychopaths are in prison – some are in the board room,” Robert Hare famously said during his aptly titled lecture, The Predators Among Us. Psychopathy is one of three “dark triad” traits, the other two being narcissism and Machiavellianism. It should be noted that, unlike clinical personality traits, these traits are normally distributed in the population – e.g., you can score low, average or high – and perfectly indicative of normal functioning. In other words, just because you score high doesn’t mean that you have problems, either at work or in your personal life. And despite the antisocial implications of the dark triad, recent research has highlighted a wide range of career-related benefits for these personality characteristics.